Illinois House approves limits to pension COLAs
2 months, 4 weeks ago
The Illinois House Thursday approved a bill limiting cost-of-living adjustments to state government pension benefits, something state officials have said is the biggest factor in rising pension costs.
By a 66-50 vote, the House sent House Bill 1165 to the Senate for consideration. House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, said the vote indicates the House might be close to passing a final pension package.
Currently, retirees receive a 3 percent compounded annual increase in their pension benefits. The bill approved by the House limits that 3 percent increase to the first $25,000 of pension income.
After that limit is hit, retirees will get only a flat $750 a year increase in benefits. The House bill also delays the start of COLAs until age 67 or five years after a person retires. If the bill is enacted into law, current retirees who do not fit either category would get no further COLAs until they met one of those two standards.
“I know this is a very difficult thing to do to retirees,” said Rep. Elaine Nekritz, D-Northbrook. “It’s not something I relish doing, but, unfortunately, we have let the problem get so big, it has got to be the